I waited a longtime behind the emergency room curtain. An orderly brought a bed and I transferred from the wheelchair to lie down. The curtain remained drawn and the officer remained posted like a sentry. I waited a long time for the detective to come. I drifted off to sleep and began to dream.
The light broke through window and the Sunday morning daylight tracked across the bed. Lisa slept beside me, tucked tight under the comforter attempting to stave off morning for a few more precious hours of sleep. I laid there watching the tiny specs of dust float through the light of morning. The bedroom door slowly widened and the faint sound of small footsteps crept gingerly across the carpet.
“Daddy?” My daughter Kimberly’s small voice reached out to me. “Are you up, daddy?” She moved to see if my eyes were open. They were.
“Good morning, Honey.” I whispered, careful not to wake Lisa. Kimberly’s blonde hair glowed in the light.
“Daddy, when will the baby come?” Her eyes were bright and inquisitive.
“Not for another few months.” I said. She crawled up the bed between her mother and me. I rolled onto my back and Kimberly nestled into the crux of my arm.
“Then I’ll have a little brother?”
“And I will be a big sister?”
“Yep, are you excited to be a big sister? I said
“That is a very big responsibility, are you sure you can handle it?”
“Daddy, of course I can be a big sister, I am already bigger than the baby, it only makes sense.” Kimberly sounded so confident. A familiar giggle came from inside the covers beside us. We looked over to see Lisa looking back at us with a warm smile.
“Mommy! You’re awake!” Kimberly bounced to her knees. Her pink nightgown cascaded around her tiny feet folded underneath her. “Happy Mother’s day, Mommy.”
“Thank you, baby.” Lisa’s face beamed as she emerged from her plush cotton cocoon. Her green eyes glowed in the rich yellow light that now filled the room. Her red hair and flawless skin radiated an unparalleled youthfulness. I had known her all my life and still I marveled at her beauty. “Happy Mother’s day, Beautiful.” I said leaning in and kissing her.
“Thank you, lover. I couldn’t have done it with you.” She joked.
“Thanks, but today is your day, what would you like for breakfast?”
“hmm, let me think.” Her voice became low and sultry. Her hand found its way through the sheets and glided softly over my inner thigh as she spoke. She moved her hand in slow motion rubbing higher with every pass. “Pancakes, eggs, and bacon.” Her voice quickly transformed back and hand unexpectedly pulled away as she quickly rose from the bed. My jaw dropped in disbelief.
“You are an evil woman, and a terrible tease.”
“I know,” she smirked back, “and you love ever bit of it. Besides what did you think was going to happen? Our daughter is still in the room.” She scooped up Kimberly into her arms.
“You need to be careful lifting like that, you are pregnant.” I cautioned.
“Thank you, Dr. Oz for that news flash, but I’m barely half-way through my second tri-mester. Don’t worry so much, Handsome, I’ve done this before.” She said nuzzling the neck of our first born in her arms. Kimberly giggled wildly at the extra attention. Her sassy reassurance made me smile.
“C’mon Honey, Daddy’s going to make us pancakes.” Lisa turned to exit our bedroom.
“Yea! Pancakes! Mommy, guess what? I made you something for Mother’s day.”
“You did? I can’t wait to see it” The conversation between mother and daughter trailed off as the two disappeared into another part of the house.
I relaxed back down and folded my hands behind my head staring up at the ceiling. I smiled and thought for a few more minutes at the utopia my life had becoming. I never imaged that I, of all people, would have such a beautiful life, that the awkward boy that existed on the fringes of adolescent social circles would be married to someone so amazingly charming. My thoughts were interrupted by a pair of voices calling to me from beyond the bedroom door.
“DAD-DY, PAN-CAKES, WE ARE HUN-GRY!” The voices sang in unison.
“OH-KAY, I AM COM-ING” I sang back. I stepped from the bedroom into the greatroom. “But, first things first.” I walked toward Lisa and Kimberly seated together on the sofa. From behind my back I presented Lisa with a small, black, rectangular box carefully tied with a purple ribbon. Lisa bounced up with childish excitement, folding her knees beneath her the same way Kimberly had moments before on our bed.
“I love presents, and the ribbon is purple, my favorite color.” She took the box and untied the purple bow. She lifted the box top. Her eyes popped open “Oh, Riordan, It’s absolutely gorgeous.” She gasped, timidly lifting the diamond and emerald tennis bracelet from its white cotton bed inside the rectangular box. “I love it!” I reach over and fastened the clasp around her wrist. She raised up on her knees and kissed me hard. She relaxed back slightly and looked into my eyes. “I love you.” she said.
“I love you, too, beautiful. Happy Mother’s day.” I replied. Lisa sat back. Her arm out stretched. She stared smiling at the bracelet, dazzled by her new jewelry.
“Are you going to help me make Mommy’s pancakes, Kimmy?”
“Yep” Kimberly jumped into my arms and we made our way to the Kitchen.
My daughter and I prepped breakfast and Lisa exited the greatroom to shower before breakfast. Kimberly quickly became tired of mixing pancake batter and scrambling eggs and redirected her attention to her toys and storybooks. I continued with breakfast. Soon, the eggs were finished and fluffy. The bacon was fried and crisp. I began the pancakes. The skillet sizzled as the cold semi-liquidous batter made contact with hot metal. Silently from behind, Lisa’s dainty, slender hands wrapped around my bare chest from underneath my arms. She tucked tightly against my back resting her head sideways between my shoulder blades. Her still wet hair was cool against my skin. I could smell her lavender and chamomile bodywash above the buttermilk pancakes and bacon.
“I love my bracelet.” She whispered hugging me tight. She moved her left hand over my stomach and her right hand deep inside the waist band of my blue plaid, flannel sleep pants, tenderly caressing me. “I want to make it up to you for teasing you so horribly this morning and to properly thank you for my gift.”
“What about our daughter?” I teased, removing the golden brown cake from the skillet. I turned around to face her. She was tightly wrapped in a bath towel. Her breast cleavage swelled above the damp terry cloth. She sweetly pouted her lips, looking at me with large doe-y eyes.
“Kim is playing quietly in her room.” Lisa rationalized.
“I don’t want to burn breakfast, and I still have all this batter to fry up and…”
“Riordan Matthew Mullhaney,” Lisa protested, “You will follow me to that bedroom and make love to me right now. It’s Mother’s day and as the mother of your children, I demand it.”
“Okay, okay, if I must,” I playfully gave in to her demands “you are the boss.” I reached back and turned off the burner. Lisa turned and led me by the hand into the bedroom, proudly strutting like a peahen.
The dreamy memory of that day faded as I awakened in the hospital bed. I was no longer in the emergency room. I had been moved to a room on one of the wards. The room was mostly dark. I hit the nurse call button on the bed and waited for someone to answer.